The real, the ugly

Today I visited my integrative oncologist… and she sat down and just shook her head. If any of you know her, she’s amazing. Dr. Bailey Dorton…  I hadn’t seen her since last August. I have been through A LOT since then… even I don’t realize how much until someone spells it out for me…

My integrative oncologist has the purpose of trying to keep me well, both mentally… spiritually and physically. Sadly, everything has taken a toll on me and I’ve just hit a very low point. I’ve withdrawn. I don’t talk to anyone, really… very little. Not even my friends. I’ve not blogged… and I’ve not wanted to because I don’t want to listen to me… much less make other people hear it… It’s ugly, it’s depressing and like I said.. it’s not a good place. But, she told me… I need to. I need to put it down. Unfortunately, all this BS is part of cancer. There are so many aspects that I haven’t discussed… all that I’ve gone through, has changed EVERYTHING about me at a supersonic pace.

My oncologist said it best… you now have the body of a 55 year old woman – they had to starve my body of ALL hormones and medications to make sure the hormones are gone. My body shape has changed… I have holes/divots that are visible in clothes.. before it was my boob that was missing, now its my butt. I don’t even know how to dress myself, anymore. My body is not like it was…

I feel like EVERYONE wants me to forget that cancer happened and as I’ve heard it so many times… BE HAPPY TO BE ALIVE… others weren’t so lucky. Great… now you’ve just made me feel guilty. Thanks…

Cancer stares me in the face, every single day… as a matter of fact, I don’t even WANT to look in the mirror.  I have divots and oozing holes… that need to be packed and I’ve been packing wounds for 9 months now… I’m OVER IT!!!!! And, I’m not done. All of this to get me back to what? A sense of normal….  I mourn who I was… my sexuality, my HEALTH, my thoughts, my body (although I was’t a super model… it wasn’t mangled), my hair, my eyelashes, my thin arms (thanks lymphedema), my teeth (the enamel just peeled right off during chemo and it’s made them weak), my passion – my work – my business – photography… I could go on and on…

I just read an article in the doctors office. Some may say… oh you’re so vain. It’s not vanity. It’s grief. It’s mourning. Only those that have been through it can understand.

My doctor had put me on a low dose of Celexa back in August… and since August, I have steadily gained weight. If you understood how I eat… there is NO reason I should gain weight. At all… Usually when I have surgery, I lose weight… and this past time, I actually gained. I went off Celexa about a week and a half ago…. and I’m slowly losing weight. Thank goodness.. maybe my clothes will start fitting and at least I’ll feel a bit better about that. Lookee there, a positive!!!! 🙂

I’m not moping around, pissed of a the world…. well, sometimes I am. But, for the majority of the time I’m not. I feel like I’m numb…just surviving. Not necessarily living… and what’s the point in that…  I just want to be carefree…. with less worries and less stress and I want to regain some sense of who I was….

My new job…. it’s a living. It’s Monday-Friday… no weekends, it gives me some flexibility. There is something to be said about that…. (yippee another positive)… but, I want what I had… or even better… I want to live my dream of empowering women IN MY SHOES!!!!!! Women who are down and frustrated, 2 years out from cancer…. back in the grind, life is overwhelming…. and stop for one day, get them all prettied up and make them feel beautiful… point out the highlights…. every woman has some sense of beauty, whether we’ve forgotten ourselves….

But how? It seems insurmountable… Life has just gotten in the way… debts, bills, barely making it…. I had to sell every stitch of my camera gear, to survive. Cancer impacts EVERYTHING. And people want me to shoot this or that… and I have to explain. It sucks!!!! I was an award winning photographer. Can’t even afford to keep my website up. It all seems lost….

Then, there’s my sense of peace… and the constant worry about my health… I understand why they wanted me to be on Celexa… or maybe I needed something more potent…. for God sakes I can’t even drink anymore….

Stage 4 HAUNTS ME. that 50/50 or 60/40 chance…. looms…”Oh jeez, I just ate chocolate with REAL sugar, oh jeez, I have a pain in my head…. oh no…. I am having dizzy spells… is it brain cancer, has it metastasized… HELLO GOOGLE…. yea, it says it could be cancer… but, I’ll go to sleep and tomorrow is another day.. if it still there in 2 weeks, I’ll tell me doctor. Oh, the pain went away, but now there’s a new pain…. ” It’s relentless…. I want to live. I want to be here for my kids.

TIME…. time is a luxury and maybe that’s what upsets me the most. I feel like I’m wasting time…

I know I speak for EVERY one of my cancer sisters… you try to go on with a new sense of normal… believe me, there is nothing more that we could wish for….. to forget it all ever happened. But, for us… that luxury is now GONE. It can come back… and for many it does and for many it takes their life.

I’m here, I’m alive…. I should be celebrating. It’s not that simple. Life gets in the way… the struggle is REAL.

I have unpublished blogs galore… but, I think I’ll publish this one. It’s the real, the ugly…. it’s my life, right now.

For those that still read… and keep up with me. I love you. To those that I’ve not really talked to much lately, know that I still love you so much…. I hope you understand and love me through this….

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